Mutual Influence on the Sexual Differentiation in the Protandric Polychaete Ophryotrocha puerilis

  • H.-D. Pfannenstiel


The polychaete, Ophryotrocha puerilis, is considered to be the typical example for permanent potential hermaphroditism. Sex determination in this species was formerly considered to be of an epigenetic nature. This opinion was overruled by selection experiments, which revealed that genetic factors play a part in sex determination (Müller, 1962). Therefore, it is likely to qualify sex in Ophryotrocha puerilis, as determined by polyfactors (Bacci, 1965). Males and females of Ophryotrocha do not show sexual dimorphism. The gametes themselves mark the difference between males and females. They develop from undifferentiated gonia into oocytes or spermatozoa. The inducing conditions for this change in the direction of differentiation were investigated during the last three years (Pfannenstiel, 1971, 1973, 1975). The results shall be briefly reported, as they are necessary for the understanding of the influences which two individuals can exert on each other. The experiments were carried out with individually raised and kept worms.


Sexual Differentiation Mutual Influence Hormone Production Female Donor Coelomic Fluid 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1975

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  • H.-D. Pfannenstiel

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